Michelle Scally Clarke
Michelle Scally Clarke just celebrated her 25th anniversary as a professional freelance author, poet, playwright, actor and songwriter. She is also a creative writing facilitator. She has worked alongside ‘Greats' such as Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jean Binta Breeze, Benjamin Zephaniah, Lemm Sissay, Brian Patten, Kei Miller and poet laureate Simon Armitage and has two books and albums, “I Am” and “She Is”, published by Route Press.
Michelle made her name in theatre, in productions including Word Temple and Carnival Messiah, while her own plays, “First Cut” and “Suitcase” have toured schools throughout Yorkshire as well as commissions from Leeds Playhouse. She has created a play and film for the NHS called “Jeans, Whose Genes?”, and poetry for space 2, based on “we are only as blind as we want to be”- a quote by Maya Angelou in Response to Black Life Matters.
Throughout Covid, she taught intensely online and ran multiple workshops; for young writers as part of Ilkley Literature Festival, “creative voices” with the Huddersfield Literary Fest, for The Care Collective – a care givers team of writers and artists - and The Clear Out Your Closet (COYC) Collective, a user-led peer support group of people suffering from mental ill health, triggered by trauma and distress. Her pamphlet, “unsung words” a guide to writing for wellbeing through COVID features poems from the COYC collective, while ‘Sounds of lockdown’, a curated collection of poetry written by COYC and Care Collective, has been funded by space 2 and the Arts Council England. Her “Colour our City Green’ is an environmental free online project, open to all and is available as an online gallery called ‘Unlocked - Inspiration from Isolation’. This comprises three different exhibitions: ‘Greeting from the Unknown’, ‘Sound of Lockdown’ and ‘Colour our City Green’. Her Covid reflections are complemented by a Leeds Forum commission to explore the impact of the pandemic on the people of the city through poetry and film.
Click here to find out more about her work with COYC.
Click here to see a youtube video of one of her performance pieces.